Monster House, A Review

We took Balthazar to see “Monster House” this past weekend. He really enjoys watching movies, so when there’s something appropriate on for his attention span, we love to take him. This time was a little different. He’s been watching the previews on TV and specifically requested “Monster House.” We were so impressed that he made his own little choice that we decided we’d take him on Sunday. Many of you have seen the previews and heard the reviews stating “…the biggest surprise of the summer.” That statement, as it turns out, is more to the point than any review could have been. The movie’s story has the feeling of Tim Burton while some of the imagery shares a common feeling with “Silence of the Lambs.” Keep in mind that it’s still rated PG. Understandably, we have a little more respect for what “Parental Guidance” actually means now. “Monster House,” while very good in its own right, was a bit much for a 3-year-old. Amy and I kept looking over at eachother and silently asking whether we should pull him from the theater. It didn’t help that the film’s audio was up a notch or two too high. They make use of jump-scare tactic quite a bit, so loud audio just becomes annoying. Above Balthazar’s head, the story was very creepy as well. We picked up on that pretty quickly, though I doubt anyone under 8 or 9 would have fully grasped it. Another issue in the film was the photorealism of certain scenes. Humans and animals were cartoonish, but had an eerie effect of realism that only shows itself in our dreams…the bad ones. The character voices were fantastic. I thought everyone did really good job of *being* their character. They also added in really great mannerisms for each of the characters. Many of the scenes of the house – mostly in the house – were very creepy. There’s a segment when they first enter the house when everything is dark and lit only by a flashlight. You are fully expecting something very adult-oriented to happen at any second. I noticed again last night in the previews that they seemingly only show the humorous scenes from the movie. If I ever get a digital copy of the movie, I may have to put together a more appropriate trailer for parents to make a good PG decision.

Oh, and when asked at the end of the movie if Balthazar liked the movie – he loved it! Freak kid.